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Metro Atlanta well represented on U.S.  News list of best high schools

More than 30 of the Georgia high schools on this year’s U.S. News & World Report list of best in the country, and seven of the state’s top 10, are in metro Atlanta. 

Georgia ranked 18th among states, tied with Virginia, for the percentage of  schools making the “best” list. Eighty-four Georgia high schools, about 14 percent, got there.

Gwinnett County, the state’s largest school district, had 10 schools on the list, the most among metro districts. Gwinnett School of Mathematics Science and Technology, a school perennially ranked high on such tallies, is the highest-ranked Georgia school.  

Cobb County had eight schools on the list, Fulton seven, DeKalb four and Clayton two. Decatur’s high school made it, too. Early College High School at Carver also made the list from Atlanta Public Schools.

The list categorizes the best schools as gold, silver or bronze medal winners, with gold and silver awards reflecting best preparation of students for college, based partly on their participating in and passing  Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests. For a school to be eligible for a gold or silver medal, its students must also do well on statewide tests and graduate at high rates.

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All seven Fulton County high schools on the list are gold-medal schools. 

Gwinnett has two gold- and eight silver-medal schools; DeKalb has two gold, one silver and one bronze; Cobb has one gold and seven silver. Both Clayton County schools on the list are silver-medal schools.

Only 38 states and the District of Columbia had at least one school that earned a gold medal, and six of those states had only one.

A more inclusive national list includes Early College High School at Carver in Atlanta, in the bronze category.

U.S. News evaluates more than 20,500 public high schools nationwide. It says it looks at the proportion of students who exceed academic expectations, taking into account how many of a school’s students are from low-income families. It also factors in  graduation rates and students’ performance on state tests.

Anita Narayan, U.S. News managing editor, said, “Top-ranked schools succeed in three main areas: exceeding expectations on state proficiency tests, offering challenging coursework and graduating their students.” 

These are U.S. News’ top 10 Georgia schools, and their school districts:

1 - Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology, Gwinnett County

2 - DeKalb School of the Arts, DeKalb County

3 - Columbus High School, Muscogee County

4 - Davidson Magnet School, Richmond County

5 - Savannah Arts Academy, Chatham County

6 - Cambridge High School, Fulton County

7 - Alpharetta high School, Fulton County

8 - Johns Creek High School, Fulton County

9 - Walton High School, Cobb County

10 - Northview High School, Fulton County  

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